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none but exciting subjects have any interest. Tears are now only shed when great crimes are their source; domestic feelings are passés de mode ; and those who would awaken sympathy, must dare guilt. Look at the theatres in France where horror on horror accumulates, and plaudits “ loud and deep” follow every scene of guilt, and every sentiment of reckless daring! Look at the crimes every day committed in that land of passion, where naught sleeps save-reason ; and where events, public and private, succeed each other so quickly, that the mind is kept in a continual and delightful state of excitement. Had your friend, Lady Mary, and her sapient père, been inhabitants of dear France, they would have found neither time nor scene for their domestic
sentimentalities. She would have been thinking of her trousseau, and the envy it would excite-or the last novel of Eugene, Sue, or Balzac, or of all these ; for in France a woman's
head can embrace simultaneously many more subjects than ours can contain in succession, during the lapse of a twelvemonth. And hence their general freedom from concentrated or violent affections; a freedom that renders them toujours gai, et toujours aimable, — they dispensing to the many, the smiles and petits soins that we reserve for the few. But to return to you, ma chère. Let me beseech you to abandon l'école sentimentale, c'est mauvais genre à present : let me, also, remind you to be careful of not allowing my letters to be seen by any eye save your own.
I write to you à cæur ouvert ; and should detest having my hasty and inartificial compositions subjected to the perusal and criticism of some one who might not be able to understand them, or votre amie,
THE COUNTESS OF DELAWARD TO THE
LADY AUGUSTA VERNON.
I am impatient to hear from you, dearest Augusta, how my beloved father supports this, our first separation. He has written to me in a cheerful tone ; but he is so prone to conceal his own sufferings, in order not to increase those of others, that I fear his cheerfulness was only assumed to tranquillise me. I have been so accustomed to refer to him on all occasions, to administer to his happiness, and to derive mine from him, that, even surrounded with blessings as I am, I want his presence, to be as contented and as grateful as I ought to be. How thankful should we be to the Almighty, when He gives us parents whom we can love and reverence, as well as obey - when affection and duty go
hand in hand! This has been my blessed lot, and is likewise yours, my dear Augusta. There is, however, one difference between our parents, though it proceeds from the same cause, acting diversely,— namely, excessive affection. Mine never permitted me to have a secret from them, or to receive a letter from any of my companions that was not submitted to their inspection. This plan was adopted when I was so young, that I could not understand its motive; and, when I grew older, the habit was so formed, that I knew not whether it was continued by their desire or my own. They reasoned with me on the fallacies often contained in the letters of my young friends, and on the inferences which my inexperience led me to draw from them. They taught me to reflect, and to distinguish between what was erroneous and what was praiseworthy in sentiment; and to judge of actions by principle
alone, and not by prejudices. From how many false impressions did my
my beloved parents rescue me, by exerting for me their reason, ere my own had acquired sufficient force to protect me! Yours, with equal affection, impose no restraint on your intercourse with your female friends. They never see your correspondence; consequently, cannot refute the false opinions it may contain, and, for the detection of which, your youth and inexperience unfit you. You are, therefore, exposed to the danger of imbibing the sentiments of those who are less amiable and pure-minded than yourself; ere yet your principles are immutably fixed, or your reasoning powers sufficiently matured to enable you to reject the poison that may be thus proffered. You know, dear Augusta, that I am not malignant or censorious; and, therefore, will not suspect me of being influenced by unworthy feelings,